Have you tried Draft.com yet? It’s a fun variation on DFS to try out if you haven’t. The main differences over there are smaller rosters (1 SP, 2 IF, 2 OF) and they use a snake draft in small contests (2-10 man leagues). Tonight is my favorite kind of night on Draft. The small rosters usually mean you’re choosing between great hitter A and great hitter B. Spotty weather and tough matchups equals slimmer than usual pickin’s for this slate. That’s going to help you gain an edge by digging in and finding advantageous spots for players like Adam Duvall. I’m going to harp on it all year, so get used to me bringing up the safety of domes and hitter-friendly parks. Stick with them and your investment will pay off. Below are some of my favorite plays of the day.
Aaron Nola, SP: Early. Nola, whose nickname really needs to be the Big Easy, was cruising through five in his start against Atlanta a couple weeks ago. Then his manager went and Kapler’d the whole thing. Nola earned more of a leash in his last start, going eight innings. The wind should blow in from right to help limit lefty power, as well.
Luis Castillo, SP: Middle. A start at Miller Park is never a safe spot. Castillo’s no stranger to hitters havens, however, calling Great American Ballpark home. There’s risk here. The trade-off is an emerging strikeout artist versus a lineup striking out 25% of the time.
Blake Snell, SP: Late. Inconsistency continues to plague Snell. There’s a dominant pitcher in there somewhere. He pokes his head out from start to start. The Rangers have been in the bottom third of the league vs LHP in wOBA and wRC+. That’s enough for me to take a shot on Snell.
Jacob deGrom, SP: for the gambler. The best pitcher going, if you want to tangle with weather and the Nationals lineup.
Giancarlo Stanton, IF: Early. Stanton simply is your best bet for a home run most nights. The models I look at generally have his HR probability double what the next players is.
Justin Smoak, IF: Middle. The Smoak monster gets it done from both sides of the dish with a SLG in the mid .500’s for either hand. Eric Skoglund is a questionable starter at best. Give me any Jays righty in their dome on a day with so many rain concerns, really. Smoak’s the heart of the lineup at the moment.
Cody Bellinger, IF: Late. This one’s a speculative play on Robbie Erlin not pitching very deep into the game for the Padres. The long men in their pen are mainly righties. The warm San Diego weather can hopefully help Bellinger continue to heat up himself.
Rhys Hoskins, OF: Early. Normally we attack Julio Teheran at home with power lefties. Hoskins prodigious power from the right side should do nicely, though. Apparently, Hoskins is also bent on showing he’s a five-tool player, already stealing two bases on the young season.
Chris Taylor, OF: Middle. The Dodgers catalyst is starting to get going with three home runs in his last five games. A few days ago I commented that I thought his swing was where he wants it, the results just hadn’t come. I’m basing a good bit of that on his place on the homer launch angle leaderboard (via BatFlip Crazy). Oh, he gets LHP Robbie Erlin, too (2018 .526 SLG vs LHP).
Adam Duvall, OF: Late. Duvall does one thing well: hit dongers off of lefties. He’s slumping to start the year, but he only has 7 at-bats vs LHP. The skills that earned a 2017 wOBA of .382 against lefties will show sooner than later, especially in Miller Park.